Thursday, December 4, 2008

Some of the Other Heroes...

Welcome Back, true believers!

For whatever reason, Supes and Bats weren't enough to satiate the comic book world's hunger for propaganda covers. Plenty of other superheroes rose to the "call of duty" to throw cream pies at the Axis leaders, or sometimes threaten them with pointy pins.

It should be noted, however, that perhaps because they weren't as popular or well known, these new, or lesser known heroes were able to do more dastardly or racist deeds to their opponents. As opposed to the "multistep" theoretical model, these comics used the "hypodermic" approcach (Media Now). Instead of "dehumanizing" the enemy, these comics often seek to"demonize" the enemy. Here are some examples:
This first example shows how even slurs were permitted on lesser known comics:
The following examples speak for themselves in just how offensive they are today and can be done without much comment. I would like to point out, however, that no one protested these images back then, and to do so meant you were unpatriotic. So enjoy the following images, or be horrified. Either way, these images were the norm during the war...
This is just a small example of the many, many portrayals of the Axis powers as demons, monsters, or some racist version of themselves. Yes, I realize Captain America isn't a "lesser" hero, but he WAS created during WWII as a "super soldier". It can be argued, then, that this was a form of "cultivation theory", as it is conditioning its readers into believing this was the "reality"(Media Now). Children, are, after all, scared of the boogie man, or the thing hiding under their bed. So it would make sense for comic books artists to combine this fear with Nazis or the Japanese. (I realize Mussolini was part of the Axis, but I haven't really found any pictures of him). So now the boogie man became a Nazi boogie man and the thing hiding under the bed became a half Japanese, half tentacled monster. It served to instill in these children that they had to then "kill" these monsters, or help "kill" them by joining the military when they were older, or by encouraging their parents to help out, and to buy war bonds.
I just wanted to post this one because not only is it racist of the Japanese, but look at that African -American kid there. Can you guess his name? That's right!!!! Whitewash. I really wish I were joking about that...

Next time I have a small post about Russian and Japanese propaganda examples. Due to the fact that it is difficult to find such propaganda (translation problems, etc), I will only have a few examples, but I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

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